Brigham Young Cougars vs. San Diego State Aztecs Poinsettia Bowl Pick Against the Spread

College Bowl Odds – Ten Things You Need to Know About the Poinsettia Bowl (BYU at San Diego St.)
Charles Jay, Exclusive to

Here are ten things you should know about the Poinsettia Bowl, taking place at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego on Thursday night (December 20), between the homestanding San Diego State Aztecs and the BYU Cougars, who are the 3.5-point favorites in the college football odds atBetAnySports:

1) If the world comes to an end, as the Mayan calendar predicts, you might not be able to collect.

2) When you say “Poinsettia” you can choose to pronounce the “i” near the end or not: [poin-set-ee-uh, -set-uh]. Glad we got THAT cleared up.

3) San Diego State is a HOME team here, and that doesn’t happen all that often in a bowl game. They are getting points at home as well, against a team that was just 6-5 straight-up when facing FBS (i.e., Division I) teams.

4) BYU’s coach, Bronco Mendenhall, was the defensive coordinator for five years under Rocky Long (the San Diego State head coach) when Long was at New Mexico, so SDSU’s unique 3-3-5 defensive alignment is not going to be any shock to him.

5) Riley Nelson has been around college football longer than most head coaches have. He first came to Utah State in 2006 after a storied high school career, and then transferred to BYU. He has taken a medical redshirt, and suffered more injuries than perhaps any other college football quarterback. He is not 100% for this game, and that may prompt Mendenhall to turn to James Lark at some point. In fact, there is some speculation that Lark, who is taking the majority of snaps in practice, may start, though the BYU coach isn’t saying.

6) Cody Hoffman, BYU’s go-to wide receiver,. is statistically one of the top pass catchers in the country, with 90 receptions for 1134 yards. But he may be blanketed by SDSU’s Leon McFadden, a three-time all-Mountain West honoree who will almost certainly being playing on Sundays next year (that means in the NFL, for the uninitiated).

7) If BYU tries to run the ball, San Diego State should be somewhat prepared. They have already come up against three of the nation’s seven best rushing offenses, allowing 282 yards on 62 attempts to #1-ranked Army, 320 yards in 68 tries to #2-ranked Air Force and 176 yards in 48 attempts to #7-ranked Nevada. That’s an average of 4.4 yards a carry right there, and that isn’t too bad. It probably should be noted, however, that these were all “gimmick” offenses to an extent; Army and Air Force use the triple option, while Nevada lines up in the Pistol.

8) When it comes to stopping the run, it’s hard to beat the numbers BYU put up this season. The Cougars held foes to 84.25 yards a game (second in nation), 2.7 yards a carry (also second) and five rushing touchdowns (which tied for second).

9) BYU actually had a strong all-around defense, and that was, for the most part, reflected on the scoreboard. And it held up on the road, which, as BetAnySportscustomers know, is important as it relates to this game. The Cougars allowed just seven points to Boise State AT Boise, 17 points to undefeated, top-ranked Notre Dame AT South Bend, and 17 points to ACC title game participant Georgia Tech AT Atlanta. Not only that, but BYU went to San Jose State, which averaged 35 ppg and is 10-2 straight-up, and held the Spartans to 20 points.

10) When BYU held Boise State to seven points, that was in a losing effort (7-6). But San Diego State actually WON at Boise State – only the second time the Broncos lost on the Blue Carpet in Chris Petersen’s entire seven-year tenure as head coach.

Good luck with whoever you pick! Predictem’s staff says SD St. wins this game straight up.

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